I cannot communicate with my cherished and beloved readers the wrenching difficulty of assembling these posts. I don’t mean going through scores of DoD press releases searching for the names of our fallen heroes. There are very few generous and noble souls who can honor these men and women in words. I cannot. I am not that skilled, though I wish I were. Such rare souls are endowed with great intelligence and greater sensitivity, because seeing and hearing the names is not enough. You have to be able to feel the anguish of the mother whose child has been taken from her, the wife who has lost her soul, her sky, and the children, oh the sorrow of the children. Unspeakable. It is hard for people to see the individual stories without seeing the person telling their story and see through that individual the suffering of others.
Huge courage is demanded of the brothers and sisters of the fallen — brothers in arms and in life — to forge on and not falter.
There are those who can understand and those who cannot. I have long abandoned those who cannot. I speak to those who can and pray that they take up the righteous and humane cause in which we fight.
This snail mail letter came from an soldier in our Navy, some 7,000 miles from the shores of our great nation:
I am writing to you a perfect stranger from 7000 miles off the shore of Norfolk VA in a little town called ——-.
I’m not a writer nor a political pundit or much of anything other than a —- for the Navy . It’s been so startling to see the United States of America transformed to something unrecognizable that often my head is in a fog.
Thank you for the great work you do. I will continue to read your blog. Sometimes it’s so overwhelming to see the death of freedom happen right before my eyes. I simply cannot believe this is happening.
Be well and God bless you.
September 6: Pfc. Shane W. Cantu, 20, of Corunna, Mich., died Aug. 28, in Charkh, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when he was hit by shrapnel. Cantu was assigned to 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Caserma Ederle, Vicenza, Italy.
September 5: Lance Cpl. Alec R. Terwiske, 21, of Dubois, Ind., died Sept. 3 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. The Marine’s parent command was Inspector/Instructor Staff, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, Marine Forces Reserve, Fort Knox, Ky.
September 4: Staff Sgt. Jeremie S. Border, 28, of Mesquite, Texas, assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), Torii Station, Japan; died in Batur Village, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with small arms fire.
September 4: Staff Sgt. Jonathan P. Schmidt, 28, of Petersburg, Va., assigned to 192nd Ordnance Battalion, 52nd Ordnance Group, 20th Support Command (CBRNE), Fort Bragg, N.C. died Sept. 1, in Batur Village, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with small arms fire.
September 3: Spc. Kyle R. Rookey, 23, of Oswego, N.Y., died Sept. 2, in Jalalabad, Afghanistan from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.
Augest 28: Staff Sgt. Jessica M. Wing, 42, of Alexandria, Va., died Aug. 27, in Kuwait City, Kuwait in a non-combat related incident. She was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment, Bangor, Maine.
Read more here.